This is Masatoshi Fukutsuna. Along with his wife Mitzi, he runs a small neighborhood sushi restaurant in Tokyo. There used to be thousands of local sushi shops like this dotted around Japan's capital, almost one on every street. And like this restaurant named Eiraku, many of them only seat around ten patrons at a time.
Eiraku is a favorite of locals who come here to eat and have a quiet drink at the day's end. But this restaurant is also a hub of the community, a place to meet up with old friends.>> It's a place for people to gather. There's a pub over there and another over there, and I know that place well too.
But when decide to go out, we always end up here.>> Ten years ago, Eiraku was just one of four sushi hideaways tucked away in these narrow streets, but today it's the only one left. The chef says small sushi bars like his, are caught in the middle, between an expensive
restaurants, and the cheap factory fish offered by Japan's growing number of florescent convenience stores.
>> One the high end, rich people spend whatever they want, and normal people only want only cheap things. It's the stuff in the middle that people have stopped eating, of course, if you have regulars, they might go there.>> To compete in Tokyo's tightening market place, the sushi chef says he hasn't raised prices in over a decade.
One way he manages to do that is by visiting Tokyo's new fish market himself every morning, to cut out delivery costs. It also means he can pick the best fish himself. And here, the fishmongers who the chef visits every day, can also see Tokyo's traditional fish market changing.
>> Yes, prices have gone up a lot compared to a few years ago, so I do think it's very difficult for our buyers. Catches have declined, and the market price has risen a lot to.>> The slow disappearance of the shops, is changing the nature of Tokyo suburbs.
But for now, the chef and his wife say they plan to keep working, making Sushi for the locals, and a small living for themselves. And helping to keep the small part of Tokyo together.